CLEMSON — Clemson University trustees approved the school’s 2009-10 budget of $755,123,000 at their summer quarterly meeting on campus.

Chief Financial Officer Brett Dalton said this budget included a decrease in unrestricted operating funds because of significant cuts in state appropriations.

“Although the restricted funds are projected to increase due to growth in research and scholarships, the unrestricted funds that support core university operations decreased by $28 million. Restricted funds can't be used to offset those cuts,” he said.

The trustees also approved an average 5.7 percent increase in student room and board fees, effective this fall. The increase will pay for improvements in housing facilities and cover increased operating costs.

The increase will generate $2,373,118 for university housing next year, 90 percent of which will be used to improve facilities. The increase will enable university housing to begin implementation of its five-year master plan, which includes such projects as painting and carpeting; wireless upgrades; bathroom renovations; and upgrades to fire panels, elevators and HVAC systems.

Vice President for Student Affairs Gail DiSabatino said the rate increase proposal came only after university housing took measures to reduce expenditures by more than $820,000, or about 5.5 percent of its operating budget. Dining services also reduced costs by postponing new construction, limiting renovations and eliminating the use of trays in dining facilities.

“We looked at every possible way to cut costs before increasing student fees,” DiSabatino said. “This increase was necessary to fund badly needed improvements in housing.”

In other action, the trustees approved:

  • A $31.6 million, 60,000-square-foot expansion and renovation plan for Lee Hall academic building to provide new space for the city regional planning, landscape architecture and real estate programs, and improved space for architecture, construction science and art.
  • Construction of a new, privately funded $2.6 million facility for the golf team. The three-story facility will have approximately 6,600 square feet.a Capital Project Management Certificate for a joint program between civil engineering and industrial engineering.
  • Merging the departments of accountancy and finance to form the School of Accountancy and Finance in College of Business and Behavioral Science.
  • Terminating the polymer and fiber science M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs after current students complete them.
  • The sale of 7.75 acres to the city of Clemson for $52,000 to expand the Pendleton-Clemson Waste Water Treatment Facility on Woodburn Road. The expansion will allow for an increase in capacity from two to three million gallons a day.

The trustees also elected David Wilkins of Greenville to a two-year term as chairman of the Clemson University board of trustees.

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